Saturday, April 27, 2013

Goose Talk

I heard the familiar sound when I stepped outside the cabin for my morning walk.  And then I saw the source, a pair of Canada geese winging over, just above the tree tops, and calling loudly on this quiet, early morning.

I immediately wondered if these were the geese that had nested at my pond for the past several years, so I trudged off through my pine plantation, avoiding the several piles of squishy snow that remained in places shaded from the sun.

As I approached the pond, still mostly ice-covered, but with a few feet of open water on the north end, I stopped, watched and listened.  I could see nothing until I caught some movement in the matted and dead grass around the pond—it was a goose, and then I saw the second one and they were walking toward the little open spot of water.

Once in the water they began talking to each other—a very different sound compared to the loud honking when they were flying over.  I imaged the conversation between the pair went something like this:

            “Look at all this ice, Mable.  It’s cold out there.”

            “For heaven’s sake, Fred, don’t you remember that you’re wearing a goose down vest?”

            “Well, I’m still cold.”

            “You’ll warm up when we start building a nest.”

            “Time for all of that again?”

            “Yup, family comes first you know.”

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: If you listen carefully, you’ll discover that Canada geese have a lot to say.

STORIES FROM THE LAND:  Look for my twice-monthly column in THE COUNTRY TODAY newspaper.  The first one appeared on April 24.


April 30, 5:00 p.m. “Live at Five” TV show.  CBS, Channel 3, Madison.

April 30, Barnes and Noble, West Madison, 7:00 p.m. Launch of Limping Through Life and Letters From Hillside Farm.
May 1, WRJN Radio, Interview 3:35 p.m.
May 4, Plainfield Library, 10:00 a.m. Ames County Novels.
May 8, 6:30 p.m., Wisconsin Historical Society Museum (Downtown Madison) Breweries of Wisconsin.  Dinner, need reservations.
May 9, Reedsburg Library, 7:00 p.m. Garden Wisdom.
May 14, Trempealeau Library, 1:00 p.m. Trempealeau Fourth Graders and 7:00 p.m. Jerry Apps: A Farm Story.
May 15, 7:00 p.m. Magers and Quinn Bookstore, Minneapolis.  Presentation and book signing.
May 16, 11-1:30 Chapter Two Bookstore, Hudson, WI,
May 18, Dregne’s Scandanavian Gifts, Westby. 10:30-2:00, Book signing.
May 19, Books and Company, Oconomowoc. 2:00 p.m. Book signing.
May 23, Richfield Historical Society, 7:00 p.m. Stories from the land.
May 24-31, Colorado
June 4, Noon. Milwaukee Rotary Club. War Memorial Building. Limping Through Life.
June 6, 7:00 p.m. Dane County Genealogy.
June 7, 7:00 p.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Launch of LETTERS FROM HILLSIDE FARM and LIMPING THROUGH LIFE.
June 8, 11:00 -3:00 Book signing, Tri-County Thresheree, Plainfield.

ANNOUNCEMENT:  Interested in learning how to write you own stories?  Sign up for one of my upcoming one-day workshops that I am teaching at The Clearing in Door County.

Saturday, June 22, 9-4

Saturday, November 3, 9-4

Contact The Clearing for further information and/or to sign up (


DVD Jerry Apps: A Farm Story List $16.95 The Patterson’s price only $15.00 ($20.00 shipped)
Special Bundle Offer exclusively by the Patterson:
Tamarack River Ghost & Jerry Apps: A Farm Story – List $43.90
The Patterson’s Price Only $35.00 ($43.00 shipped)

Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division St. PO Box 305
Wild Rose, WI 54984

(All items are sold by the Friends of the Patterson Memorial Library. They will accept checks or cash, they’re sorry but they don’t have any way to accept credit or debit cards, checks should be made out to the Friends of Patterson Memorial Library.

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